Back to the Future: Do You Own a Medallion Home?
By Victoria Figueiredo
Back in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, Americans were living in a modernist’s dream. Architecture, interior design, and fashion were all looking forward through time, inspired by the Space Race and pop culture (Jetsons, anyone?) to imagine life as it would be lived in the future. A huge part of this push to update everything was the idea of upgrading your home. Enter: General Electric.
The “All Electric Home” was a symbol of status. If your home was powered solely by electricity, rather than coal or gas, you were living in the future, baby. GE pushed American homeowners to make the expensive switch by advertising the money-saving benefits and convenience of all-electric living in print and on TV. Ronald Reagan hosted GE Theater, inviting viewers into his home to have his wife show them around their kitchen in a truly bizarro advertisement for electric appliances and electric living.
Because having an all-electric home was such a big deal back then, GE gave homeowners who had an electric clothes washer and dryer, waste disposal, refrigerator, and electric heating a special medallion to put up on the front of their houses. You know, to remind the Joneses who’s really running that cul-de-sac. A lot of those Medallion Homes are still around, even though all-electric homes have been the norm for decades. Our electricians find them here and there, and more often than not the homeowner has no idea that they’re living in a house Don Draper would have considered extremely Jet Age-y. Here are some photos of the markers we’ve found on the Medallion Homes we’ve worked on:
Look familiar? Bust out the Tang and spring for some astronaut ice cream, because you’re living in the future, my friend!